There is a progression that happens in the life of every steelheader. First you dream of that first Steelhead gracing the creases of your weathered hands that have braved the elements time and again. You cast and cast longing for that hook-up that seems nearly impossible, but haunts you. You find that nice run and the stars align. The indicator drops, the line comes tight, and it's on. The fight takes you down stream, close to the wood, but not too close. The fish runs to you and you struggle to keep pace, but with luck you stay on top. After a few minutes of heart pumping adrenaline and a lot of hoping, it happens...the fish comes to the net. Upon bringing that first prize to hand the celebration and joy is had that no angler will soon forget. It is a photo no camera needs to take, for the image is forever imprinted in your mind. It is a special moment in the life of any fly angler!
Not long after getting it figured out so to speak, the tendency shifts for the angler and many an angler get bit by what seems to be Steelhead gluttony. We need more and more fish and eventually our ability to put numerous fish to hand becomes a sign of status. The proud chest swells and often times we believe we have reached the top...you know, we have arrived. As anglers we believe for a moment that we are the best stick around.
However, as an angler spends more and more time on the water and have caught more than their fair share of fish, a new shift in the dream, the hope, the expectation, begins to form. The cycle is nearing its maturity... a real appreciation, a full appreciation is about to be born. It is the longing not for a first fish, or a lot of fish, or even a huge fish......it is the longing for the purest form of fish. You know, that unadulterated, unmolested, every scale in place, no real signs of wear and tear kind of fish. It's the palpable craving for "chrome," the "white hot steel,".......the real fish of dreams for me these days.
Every time I hit the water with clients, I try to do so looking for these kind of fish, because it is in the these fish that I, and many of my clients now find the joy in steelheading! Fortunately for me, yesterday was a good day.
Thomas celebrates his first Steelhead of his short fly
fishing career and shares the moment with friend Patti!
Not long after Thomas' first fish, I decided to
graduate him to swinging for some of the fresher
fish, and he made me proud with this guy!
Gotta love sexy flies and fresh fish!
Patti with a nice steel topped freshie!
We have many guides on the water and each is finding fish in many locations and in different ways. Here are just a couple more photos from the past day...
How is this for a slab of buck?
Way to go Brad!!! Nice fish any day of the week!
We are on the water every day and will post more every chance we get. Until then, get out and get them while the getting is good!
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters